Thursday, August 31, 2006

Flame On!

It seems my daughter Stephanie took umbrage to my comments on the recent decision by the IAU to remove Pluto from the list of planets that make up our solar system. She accused me of not researching the facts before going off on a rant.

Here's the deal. Yes I know that astronomers have been debated the status of Pluto for years. I also know that the nineth planet was found as a result of some very dedicated work by Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered the planet in 1930. You can read about it by following the link. I also know that the symbol of Pluto the "P" and "L" also stand for the initials of Percival Lowell who was one of the first searchers of "Planet X". It was he who predicted Pluto would be discovered in the approximate area that it was found.

So what is next. May I suggest you visit my Cafe Press store and order either the tshirt or buttons. The message of them is this "My Solar System includes Pluto". Wear the button andHer t proudly, especially around those 'let's toss Pluto out' bunch.

By the way, I know I've mentioned this CD and artist before, but I have to mention her again, Neko Case. I'm listening to it right now through iTunes and it still sounds great. The CD is Fox Confessor Brings The Flood. Her genre is alt-country and worth the listen. One song that's getting a lot of play is "Hold On, Hold On". The lyrics are as follows:

The most tender place in my heart is for strangers
I know it's unkind but my own blood is much too dangerous
Hangin' round the ceiling half the time
Hangin' round the ceiling half the time

Compared to some I've been around
But I really tried so hard
That echo chorus lied to me with its
"Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on"

In the end I was the mean girl
Or somebody's in-between girl
Now it's the devil I love
And that's as funny as real love

I leave the party at three a.m.
Alone, thank God
With a valium from the bride
It's the devil I love
And that's as funny as real love
And that's as real as true love

That echo chorus lied to me with its
"Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on"

That echo chorus lied to me with its
"Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on"


Love you Steph

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Pluto is SO a PLANET

Every so often an issue comes around that does galvanize people into action. Recent just such an issue entered both the Internet and the Blogverse. Let me say I am not talking about Iran or Iraq but rather the recent insult that has been labelled upon the Planet Pluto. Recently at the XXVI or 26th General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union voted to declassify Pluto as a planet and declare it a mini-planet. The actual state is a dwarf planet.

As you can see by this photo

This group of three deserve our scorn, as does the entire body that makes up the IAU. It's one of those issues that demands a response from concerned citizens throughout the cosmos. After all what gives them the right to decide what is a planet or what isn't. We have to draw a line in the sand and stop this madness. You see, if they can declassify planets, what next? Will they now decide what is a galaxy or a star? There is honestly no stopping these people, once they feel they can make such decisions their lust for power will know no bounds. Hey Andromeda! you better watch out, they may have you in their gunsites soon.

The question is, how can we stop them?

Let me suggest a few things:

1) Sign the Petition

2) Write to the Executive of the IAU and express your dissatisfaction and request an immediate re-instatement of Pluto as one of the nine Planets that make up one of the best darn Solar Systems in the Cosmos. Remind them their duty is to discover the wonders of the cosmos and not decide the fate of planets.

3) Buy a TShirt, Mug, Button or Bumper Sticker and let the world know how you feel.

Pluto is counting on all of us. Let's not let him down.

Monday, August 28, 2006

2006 Hugo Award Winners

I'm getting caught up on all the blogging I missed. Just came across this posting from the Science Fiction convention. The Hugo Winners were announced and winning the dramatic presentations were; the movie Serenity for best long presentation and Dr.Who. For the latter the awards were for the first season programs The Empty Child and The Doctor Dances. The reason for the both is that it was a two part story. It was a great story and worthy of such accoldates. Good on the judges to recognize quality.

While travelling along the Yellowhead Highway west of Edmonton, you pass a sign proclaining the place of East of Edson. You may wonder what makes this special. It's this, if you are a fan of Captain Tractor you are familiar with their album East of Edson. You can see the sign and as a fan of the band, I had to stop and take the picture.

It was a magic moment of Canadian Culture.

Kimberly's First Day

This past weekend, Jo-Anne, Kimberly and I drove up to Ottawa, another 1800 km on the van for those of you who are keeping track, to move Kimberly to her new school and address. As you can read in her blog she is going to school at Algonquin College in Ottawa. There she is taking courses on museum management. I'm sure she will correct me on her blog and give the course the proper name. It sounds fascinating.

On the Friday we moved her in. Her dorm room consists of three rooms, a sleeping and living room for each person, she shares the room with another person. The room has a bed, desk, telephone and TV with cable. The room also has internet connection. Then there is a common room that has a kitchenette with microwave, sink and fridge. There is also a bathroom with shower.

She stayed with her Aunt and Uncle on Friday. Then Saturday it was shopping day, for all she might need to get the week started. We first went to Ikea to buy some furniture. She purchased a book case, bedside table, throw rug for the bathroom and a small basket. She still needs to get a power bar and an extention cord. It was then over to Best Buy to purchase a printer, a usb cable and a DVD player.

Greg, her uncle and I were dropped off at the dorm to put together the ikea products and get her set up. We managed to build the table and bookshelf and now she was ready to move in. After buying some cutlery and groceries this room was now her home. She then spent the night in her new digs.

This being Monday, she started her classes, hopefully she'll blog about it.

Kim, I want to let you know I am very proud of you. This is a great step forward and you are starting a wonderful new chapter in you life.

You take care and see you this weekend.

Love Dad

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Trip West

Well, we finished an 8000 kilometre round trip to Edmonton to visit Stephanie. It was good to see her and our friends Ian and Glenda McKenzie.

It was a good trip and an interesting one. On the way out, going through the States, we saw "The Home on the Range". And yes we did break into a few verses of the famous song. I mean what else could we do?

The trip through Montana was amazing, this is a state in which they allow you to go 115 kph on glorified dirt roads, and by that I mean, rolling roads with pavement. What was interesting was the number of signs warning people from taking Crystal Meth, must be a problem. We stayed one night in Lewiston Montana. It was a very scenic trip.

You know, it's getting late and I'm taking Kimberly to Algonquin College tomorrow and it will be an early morning. I'll give a full report on the trip later.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

EO Newsroom: New Images - Ash Cloud from Mount Ubinas, Peru

This is a fascinating photograph of an ash cloud from a volcano.

What's amazing is the detail of the cloud and the volcano.

worth a look

Sunday, August 13, 2006

MLB - Detroit Tigers/Chicago White Sox Recap Sunday August 13, 2006 - Yahoo! Sports

Okay, the Tigers are in a slump. yes I acknowledge it. Yes they have lost five in a row, for the first team this season and yes, they were swept by their AL Central opponents the Chicago White Sox.

Let's put this in perspective; they are still in first, they still have the best record in baseball and there is over a month left. This is not the time to panic. It was bound to happen, that's the nature of baseball.

There is still plenty of time to recover and prove that the season has not been a fluke.

Their next opponent is the Boston Red Sox, another team going through an August funk, let's hope Bosox's problems continue.

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Tigers at 112

Right now the Tigers are 76-36, 40 games above .500 and staying strong. If you consider the last ten games, it looked like the sheen may have been off the Tigers. To give a quick review of the 10, it started with a loss in Minnesota. Sure the Tigers won two out of three, but the loss was the result of an 8th inning brain cramp by the infield; two errors and a balk by the pitcher. To be honest I feared this series with the Twins since historically the Twins have had the Tigers number. I read an interesting fact which proves this, the Twins, at the start of the year were 32-20 at Comerica.

Then it was off to Tampa for a four game set. Knowing how the DevilRays are a struggling team this, like every year, one would have thought, sweep. Yet the series started with a loss, leaving the Tigers with a rare two game losing streak. This was followed by two wins and then a loss. So instead of a series victory, this was a series split. This was the end of a ten game road trip which saw the Tigers win 6 games.

The last weekend was a home series with another AL Central opponent, the Cleveland Indians. The Tigers met them at a great time, the Indians are definately in a slide and could realistically say hopes for a playoff are long and probably not going to happen. Their hopes took a bad break when the Tigers swept them. The series was not without excitement, the Tigers won the first two in exciting fashion, especially the second game in which they won in the 9th. So here's the logic of baseball, a team will lose a game (Sunday at Minnesota) they should have won and win a game they should have lost. Then again Yogi Berra said it best: "The two words that describe baseball are 'anything can happen'". Sunday was a pitching duel that was won by the Tigers through a combination of 'small ball' and an error. Still good teams make their own luck.

This leaves game 112, against the hated Twins. Again the Twins brought to the mound their ace rookie pitcher Francisco Liriano, who was 12-2 ERA of 1.96. This may have looked like a potential loss, but the Tigers took care of him. His boxscore- ip4, HITS-10, RUNS-4, ER-4. He took the loss and his ERA went to 2.19. By the way, his ERA against the Tigers is 4.94.

The Tigers went 7-3 over the last 10 games. They are now 10 games up on the White Soxs.

I'm not sure if it's time to start this but Detroit's magic number is 42. Which also happens to be the ultimate answer to life, the Universe and everything.